Showing posts from May, 2015

Trigger Points

Technology makes systematic analysis easier. It makes data analysis easier. It makes it easier to know more about more things. (Also less about more things but that's a different story.) It makes it easier to link information together to provide a greater depth of understanding. The biggest problem we have though, is when, in High Performance sport, we try to use technological systems to replace human interaction. Systems don't and can't replace human interaction - its actually the opposite, they need to trigger human interaction. For some tasks you want to encourage human interaction, not replace it. For some tasks you need to create Trigger Points - where the data suggests that these two human beings should discuss things. So rather than having an email message automatically sent saying "there is a problem", we need to have an email message automatically sent saying, "there could be a problem, you need to get on the phone to Johnno about it, and

Sport-Specific Physical Aptitude

Coaches come with all sorts of interests, preferences and skills. Some suffer through the preparation of athletes in order to be able to participate in competition again while some genuinely love teaching and working with athletes. Most, of course, fluctuate somewhere between these extremes. One thing very common to all coaches is the excitement of working with athletes who are genetically predisposed to succeed at their particular sport. This is similar to the excitement a car person gets from having the opportunity to drive a Ferrari. It looks beautiful, it seems like it will be just as beautiful to drive and race, and this excitement is so overwhelming that it is really hard to notice that its actually not that great a car  in most other ways, unless you just want to drive it in isolated situations and look at it while its standing still. It suits us to think talent is physical because that gives us an excuse for not making it ourselves. 'I would have made it but I wasn&

The Possibility in Expectations

Sport is a funny thing. A lot of the time people talk about, and complain about, the impossible expectations that the sponsors, the public and the fans have. But that really isn't true. I remember hearing that, when coaching volleyball in the college system in the USA, the best thing to do was always to 'just' make the playoffs (Conference Tournament), and then win the first game. Yes, the person telling me this was a little cynical, but it actually rings quite true. By just making the playoffs, you are always achieving something at the end if the season, which people remember. And then by winning the first game, the fans/sponsors/public are happy because the team did a bit more than expected. Sure, at the beginning of the season expectations might have been different, but who will remember them at the end of the season? So, while people will always talk about 'winning' and 'medalling', in the end most people end up being happy if you exceed expecta

Do the Right Thing

I've written before on 1%ers , and how the prevailing 'wisdom' is that if you are doing '1%ers' then that's good thing because it means you are leaving no stone unturned. Specifically, I've written that this is a crock. I heard a great line watching an NBA game on the weekend. The commentator, when describing a play, said, "Its not just the little things, its the right things." It turns out this is actually a theme being used by the NBA during the Playoffs. Well, I couldn't agree more! By emphasising doing the 'right' things, rather than just little things, there needs to be some thought put into the real role and purpose of things. Sport is NOT just about doing things. It is NOT about doing 'little things'. It is NOT about doing the '1%ers'. It is about doing the right thing at the right time. To teach this requires the coach to be very very good at 3 things: Determining what the right thing to do in an